Charlie Whelan says . . .

Don't believe it - "One more heave for the Tories"

With everyone apart from the swivel-eyed Alastair Campbell and, of course, the Guardian's top Blair cheerleader, Martin Kettle, knowing exactly what Labour must do to revive its electoral fortunes, the Tories' turmoil is far more interesting.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the reason for the Conservatives' failure to make any breakthrough is that they are still seen as being to the right of Attila the Hun. Elections are won by parties nearest the centre ground of politics, which is exactly where new Labour is placed.

It's clear that some Tories believe "one more heave will be enough", and this is best illustrated by the Tory spin-doctors' presentation of their pathetic new total of six women and a few young male MPs, placed at the front of a photo op to give the impression of a young, vigorous party. No Stalinist-type photograph can hide the fact that most Tory MPs are still old white men.

Sensible Tories such as Tim Yeo and John Bercow know exactly what the party needs to do to pose a real challenge to Labour. Bercow is spot on when he says that to have campaigned on immigration was obsessive and repellent. The "blimpish reactionaries", as he calls them, must be stopped from appealing only to white, male, ageing, rural and southern supporters.

So what are the Tories going to do? After months of handwringing, they will elect yet another leader who will talk about reform but appeal to the same core vote. That leader will be David Davis, who, I'm told, is good on telly. As if that will help him win.

Bercow is pissing in the wind if he thinks the Tories will change. He'd be better off joining Gordon Brown's Labour Party - something I wouldn't rule out.

Next Article